Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of a Trailbuilder

Tue, Oct 1, 2019
Trailbuilding is seasonal work, and trailbuilders typically log long, difficult hours, but there’s a lot to love about being outside all day in the lush green woods creating ribbons of singletrack that many others will ultimately enjoy pedaling and hiking. In this article, we go behind the scenes with Dirt Artisans Founder and President Chad Irey for a glimpse of what life is like deep in the midst of a big trailbuilding project.

Meet Dirt Artisans’ Seasonal Staff: Olivia Ashbaugh and Christopher Johnson

Mon, Aug 26, 2019
University students Olivia Ashbaugh and Christopher Johnson spend most of the year attending classes and studying, but both also love being outdoors. So when the opportunity arose for them to join the Dirt Artisans team building trails in the woods back home this summer, they jumped on it. “My dad is a member of the Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association (NAMBA) and heard that Dirt Artisans was considering hiring a local person,” said Olivia, who is studying Veterinary and Biomedical Science with a minor in International Agriculture at Penn State University.

Trailbuilding Behind the Scenes: Our Three Favorite Hand Tools

Tue, Jul 30, 2019
Whether you’re an occasional volunteer trail worker or a professional trail builder, it’s important to have good tools. If we had to pick just a few hand tools to take with us for a day of trail building or maintenance, we’d bring these trusty favorites: a clinometer, an adze hoe and a folding hand saw. “Technically with just these three tools that you can get for about $225 total, you can construct an entire trail,” said Chad Irey, President of Dirt Artisans, a company that specializes in building world-class natural surface trails.


Fri, May 31, 2019
Chad Irey used to spend his work days managing multi-million dollar construction projects and his free time riding and hiking and taking care of his local trails as a volunteer. He had gotten into construction as a skilled carpenter, and over time, his jobs and responsibilities grew, eventually morphing into a time and energy-consuming commercial construction career. He found himself tied more and more to his desk, and he missed being outside and working with his hands.

The Trails at Jakes Rocks Part: 2

Tue, Apr 30, 2019
In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of the story of the Trails at Jakes Rock. Prior to constructing the first phase of the Trails at Jakes Rock, there were no purpose-built, mountain bike-specific trails in the vicinity of Warren, Pennsylvania. Locals had only two, far less appealing options: ride legacy hiking trails or pedal on Forest Service ATV trails - neither made for a great mountain biking experience.
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